History Major Application Information

Directions for Applying to the History Major

  1. Take two history courses at Cornell University
  2. Choose a faculty advisor from the list of eligible history faculty https://history.cornell.edu/faculty (use the "faculty in the department" filter)
    • Please note that faculty taking an off-campus leave are not available to advise during that semester/year.
  3. Meet with your chosen faculty advisor (office hours posted at: https://history.cornell.edu/office-hours).
    • discuss a plan for successful completion of the major
    • fill out the Major Application and Requirements Sheet
    • ask your new history advisor to sign both forms (if filling out the paper application, available at 450 McGraw Hall)
      • OR if filling out the online application, please ask your new advisor to confirm with the office via email that all steps have been completed
    • submit your Application and Requirements Sheet to the history office (online: click on submit; paper: drop off at 450 McGraw Hall)
  4. Majors must meet with their advisor to discuss progress during the junior year.  And then again at the beginning of their senior year to fill out the application to graduate.

Students who are interested in information on Honors in History, please go to our Honors page for a separate application and information.

History Major Requirements

  • Students must complete (or be taking) two history courses before applying to the history major.
  • 9 history courses (with a grade of “C” or better)
  • 3 of the nine courses must be in history before 1800
  • 4 of the nine courses must be taken from the following five categories (1 course each in four of the five categories): Asia, North America, Europe, Global South (Africa/Caribbean/Latin American and Middle East), and Tranregional (Transregional, Comparative, and Methodological).
  • 2 of the nine courses must be seminars, and one of these seminars must be a 4000-level seminar.  Service-learning courses offered at the 4000-level may not be used to fulfill the 4000-level seminar requirement. 

Note: a single course may count to fulfill more than one of the requirements. However, you are still required to complete a total of NINE history courses for successful completion of the major. Courses designated as “pre-1800” or “World Areas” include a specific code at the end of each course description.  (HPE=pre-1800; HAN=Asian; HNA=North America; HEU=European; HGS=Global South; HTR=Transregional)

Note: Students are only allowed to petition for a total of TWO to THREE transfer courses from another institution to be counted towards the major’s requirements. The number of transfer credits allowed is determined by the length of time away. See History Major Transfer Credit Form.  

History Major Application

Request to become a History Major:  History Major Application Webform

or email for a printable version of the Application

Requirements Worksheet

  1. Students must complete (or be taking) two history courses before being admitted to the major.
  2. Students must choose a History Advisor, meet and discuss a plan for successful completion of the major (fill out the courses taken on the worksheet), and gain that advisor's signature of both the Requirements Sheet (below) and Application before submitting these to the main office.
  3. Nine (9) history department courses must be completed with a C or better.  Courses taken for entry can be counted towards the nine required. (Many history courses will fulfill more than one of history's requirements. However, you must still take a total of nine courses to complete the history major.)

Please email for a printable version of the Requirements Worksheet